Email marketing is often mentioned as a vital tool for freelancers. It’s a way to build your audience and stay connected with clients. But it’s hard to master. When you’re drowning in project work, how are you supposed to maximize your email marketing?
Today we learn from digital strategy consultant Tamala Huntley. She helps her clients implement digital strategy with marketing funnels, online systems and automation. Tamala is an email pro.
“It’s a matter of building the type of relationship with your subscribers where they look forward to hearing from you.” -Tamala Huntley
Our conversation covers email basics, nurturing your audience and creating evergreen drip campaigns.
What are some of the most important things you need to do to have a successful email marketing strategy?
It’s kind of two-fold:
- You definitely need to have a good email service provider that has reliable delivery. You need to have signup opportunities prominently and strategically placed on your website. And you need to have a traffic strategy to get eyes on your signup offers whether you’re offering a free report or a webinar. If no one sees it, you won’t build your list.
- Then once you have people on your list, you should have a plan to email regularly to nurture your subscribers and sell your products or services. Most people won’t buy from you upon first introduction, so you have to use email marketing to follow up.
How do you stand out in someone’s inbox when there are so many other things going on (both for the recipients of your email and for you)?
I think you have the stuff that everybody talks about like subject line, which is important. But I think it’s also a matter of building the type of relationship with your subscribers where they look forward to hearing from you. They know you’re going to have something uplifting and/or informative to share with them. So your emails become a bright spot in their inbox.
When you’re a freelancer and focus on clients, how do you offer valuable content to people who need websites but don’t live and breathe websites?
A part of that is knowing your clients and understanding why they wanted a website in the first place. At the end of the day it very likely boils down to wanting more customers and more sales. So you just share ways that they can utilize their website to get to their end goal. And if you service a specific niche, you can get very creative with the content and very specific with it.
You have an impressive cavalcade of scheduled emails (drip campaign) that go out as soon as someone subscribes. What kind of response do you get from that? How often do you update and tweak those emails—or do you set it and forget it?
I do a combination. So I have initial emails that I pretty much set and forget. I change them when/if they become irrelevant. But I intentionally wrote them to be “evergreen”—for as long as possible, anyway. I do this in order to start building rapport with my subscribers, to help them really get a feel for who I am. It’s a part of the nurturing process.
I often get people who reply to the emails because in some of them I ask for a reply with feedback or to find out who they are. And I respond to all of the replies.
I also send broadcast emails that are more “in the moment.” In this industry things change so fast so there’s always something new to share.
For more insight from Tamala Huntley, check out our previous interviews on practical tools and freelance processes.